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by Charlotte Danielson
Table of Contents
A school's curriculum refers to the expectations for studentlearning embodied in the school's learning objectives, programs, and course offerings, and translates the state or district content standards into a sequenced series of statements about what students will learn through their school experiences. The curriculum is not, for example, page 42 of the biology text-book. It is not even the whole textbook, or the end-of-year biology test. Rather, the curriculum is the vehicle through which educators make manifest their goals for student learning; it consists of the knowledge and skills that students learn through their study of biology, using the biology textbook and participating in the labs, which are then assessed through the end-of-course test.
Because the curriculum is composed of statements about what students will learn, it is the defining characteristic of the school's program. Everything is organized around the curriculum: the schedule must allow students to attend the right classes, the system of learning support must help students succeed in the curriculum, and teachers must form teams and plan their instruction to maximize student learning of the curriculum.
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